Swiss machining equipment refers to screw machines used to create high-accuracy, high-precision parts and products. The main difference between it and other equipment is that it uses a guide bushing to reduce the distance between the cutting tool and the main spindle, which decreases the risk of the workpiece bending and, consequently, the cutting surface deflecting. The integration of computer numerical control (CNC) technology into the equipment can further enhance the degree of accuracy and precision that can be achieved during production operations. 

The following article provides an overview of the CNC Swiss machining process. It covers what the process entails, the benefits it offers, and the industries in which it is used. 

What Is Swiss CNC Machining?

Swiss CNC machining is a subtractive manufacturing process, meaning it uses cutting tools to remove material from a workpiece to achieve the shape and size needed for the desired component. It uses Swiss screw machines, which are a type of automated lathe.

During Swiss CNC machining operations, the lathe gradually feeds bar stock through a guide bushing, which supports the piece as it feeds into the tooling area. It then rotates the bar stock and uses the cutting tool(s) to shave away excess material. Unlike conventional CNC lathes, Swiss CNC lathes allow the bar stock to move along the Z-axis while keeping the cutting tool(s) stationary. 

Benefits of the Swiss CNC Machining Process

There are many benefits to using the Swiss CNC machining process to manufacture parts and products. For example: 

It produces components to tight tolerances.

One of the most critical differences between conventional CNC lathes and Swiss CNC lathes is where they support the workpiece. Since Swiss CNC lathes support the workpiece closer to the machining area than conventional CNC lathes, they are better at keeping the piece steady during operations. As a result, even small pieces can be produced to tight tolerances.  

It accommodates complex component designs. 

Since Swiss CNC lathes are highly supportive of the workpiece throughout machining operations and, consequently, able to create parts and products to tight tolerances, they can be used to make components with intricate and/or delicate elements. While other machines may struggle with producing thin walls or deep cuts, these machines can easily accommodate such designs.

It creates components at a fast rate.

Compared to other CNC machines, the cycle times for Swiss-type units can be significantly shorter. While some other machines may require one or more hours to machine a single component, depending on size and complexity, Swiss machines can produce 30 or more units in an hour. 

It generates less odor. 

Many Swiss-type machines use oil instead of water for cutting fluids. As a result, they require less lubrication as well as produce less odor. 

Swiss CNC Machining Applications

Swiss CNC lathes find application in the manufacturing operations of a wide range of industries, including, but not limited to, the following:  

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture
  • Automotive
  • Construction
  • Defense/Military
  • Electronics
  • Information Technology
  • Medical

Learn More About Swiss CNC Machining From Buell Automatics

Swiss CNC machining is an ideal manufacturing solution for many parts and products. Want to learn more about the process and how it can benefit your next project? Ask the experts at Buell Automatics! We have extensive experience providing precision machining solutions that utilize Swiss-type machines. Our team has the knowledge to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have about the process. Additionally, we can serve as your machining partner. Contact us at (585) 328-7430 or request a quote today.

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